On behalf of the Executive Committee of the Wentworth Military Academy Museum, I am very pleased to announce that we have hired Jayne Neville as a full time coordinator and administrator for day-to-day museum operations. Jayne will lead the on the ground efforts to get the Museum operational on an expedited basis between now and Homecoming. Jayne will report directly to the Executive Committee, with a day-to-day reporting relationship to James Lowman and Jennifer Kerr.
To put this decision in perspective, we currently have a coordinated volunteer effort at the museum once a week, if we are lucky. However, that is not due to a lack of willing volunteers; but rather, because of the tight controls we have placed on supervision of anyone in the museum. Having a full time employee, solves that problem; and we can now have museum volunteers and construction workers in the museum everyday.
Please help us welcome Jayne (her first day is February 12). We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have as we take this important step for the short-term and long-term future of the Museum.
Achieve The Honorable!
Contractors and volunteers have been hard at work. Framing out the Sandford Sellers Hall cadet room, Museum Theater Room, and ADA compliant bathroom.
While on a 3 hour marathon phone call at 12:30am this evening with your Museum’s vice chairman, James Lowman, I received a call on my other line from one of our Wentworth brothers. I joined the call into my conversation with Mr. Lowman, and moments later, the Museum was the recipient of a donation in the amount of $18,800. The donor asked that his name not be disclosed at this time, but rather, communicated simply: “just trying to do my part. I miss my home.” This donation is basically the equivalent of one half of the purchase price of the neighboring building we recently decided to acquire.
Donations large and small that echo this sentiment are always an honor to receive and always welcome.
George J. Hittner
Today’s construction pictures courtesy of the wrecking crew:
Cadet room, theater, bathrooms being framed out. Davey (our landlord’s carpenter) working on repairs to the back of the building prior to our purchase.
If Catie Ebert doesn’t go to jail for killing me for change orders from 1000 miles away, we will have a great deal to thank her for at Homecoming. ❤️ you Caped Crusader!
I am pleased to announce that the WMA Museum has been presented with a unique opportunity to purchase the building immediately adjacent to our current building, which for many reasons, the Executive Committee unanimously agreed is an opportunity we should not pass up.
The current owner is the daughter of a WMA alum and part of our negotiation on a sales price resulted a significant in-kind donation/price reduction to the Museum. We will be purchasing the building for $40,000, which will be rolled into our mortgage on the Museum. From a financial perspective, given our mortgage options (rate and term options), we expect the incremental mortgage payment increase and down payment to be within our anticipated budget range.
Given our goal of having the Hall of Honor serve as an event space for the community, we were in desperate need of a kitchen/prep space. With no kitchen space in our current building (without without incurring substantial redesign and construction expenses), when the option to purchase the building next door presented itself, we found out that it once had a commercial kitchen, including proper kitchen venting. In addition to solving the problem of a providing a kitchen for the Hall of Honor (and a significantly expanded basement for our current location), we plan to rent the facility to a TBD local entrepreneur to open a coffee/sandwich shop. The lease revenues from the rental space will go to accelerate paying off the mortgage. There will be several restrictions that will accompany the lease, including the name of the establishment (“The Dragon Den”) as well as the WMA decor. Of course, the Museum will have the option to use the space (including, the kitchen) on an as needed, priority basis. So, we will basically be providing a “ready made” business for some lucky local and doing our part to contribute to the Lexington economy.
How about an update on the progress at the Museum today. Our fabulous volunteers and paid contractors were at it again!
– New basement exterior doors installed ✔️
– Lumber delivered for framing out the cadet room/theater room/bathrooms ✔️
– Electrical work ✔️
Please take a moment to thank Jayne Neville, Catie Ebert, Jennifer Teichman Kerr, Marion and others!!